Saturday, April 20, 2019

Model Code of Conduct

Model Code of Conduct

In 2014, The EC had held that Modi violated the provisions of the Model Code of Conduct that prohibits anyone from canvassing within 100 m of a polling booth.On the EC’s orders, the Gujarat Police had filed two FIRs against Modi.
Narendra Modi, the then prime ministerial candidate, violated the model code of conduct by displaying the BJP’s election symbol “lotus” and then addressing the gathered media near a polling booth after casting his vote in Ahmedabad on April 30, 2014.

The Election Commission (EC) issued an order to lodge an FIR against Modi for violating the model code of conduct.
Ahmedabad Police had registered a case against Modi and others on the instruction of the commission under Sections 126 (1)(a) and 126 (1)(b) of the Representation of the People Act and Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code for violating section 144 of the CrPC.
Congress’ Rahul Gandhi was also pulled up by the EC in December 2017 for his television interviews a day before the final phase of voting in Gujarat.
The EC had directed Gujarat’s chief election officer BB Swain to file an FIR against channels in the state that telecast Rahul Gandhi’s interview. Rahul Gandhi was also asked to explain his conduct.
The Election Commission has ordered that social media posts of a poster showing Wing Commandar Abhinandan, shared by a BJP leader, be taken down.
EC issued a general advisory on December 4, 2013, that called upon the political parties, their leaders and candidates to desist from displaying photographs of defencepersonnelor functions involving them in advertisements, or otherwise, as part of their election propaganda.
The Commission, in the advisory, had said that the Armed Forces of a nation are the guardian of its frontiers, security and the political system. They were apolitical and neutral stakeholders in a modern democracy.
The Model Code of Conduct (MCC) is simply a set of guidelines issued by the EC to ensure free and fair polls.It comes into force from the day the EC announces the schedule for the Lok Sabha elections till the date the results are announced
According to Article 324 of the Constitution, the EC has the power to monitor the Centre, all the state governments, all the candidates and their respective.

The Model Code of Conduct deals with eight provisions

1.General conduct
4.Polling day
5.Polling booths
7.Party in power
8.Election manifestos

1.General Conduct: Criticism of political parties must be limited to their policies and programmes, past record and work. Activities such as: 
(a) using caste and communal feelings to secure votes, 
(b) criticising candidates on the basis of unverified reports
(c) bribing or intimidation of voters, and 
(d) organising demonstrations or picketing outside houses of persons to protest against their opinions, are prohibited. 
2.Meetings: Parties must inform the local police authorities of the venue and time of any meeting in time to enable the police to make adequate security arrangements. 
3.Processions: If two or more candidates plan processions along the same route, organisers must establish contact in advance to ensure that the processions do not clash. Carrying and burning effigies representing members of other political parties is not allowed.
4. Polling day: All authorised party workers at polling booths should be given identity badges. These should not contain the party name, symbol or name of the candidate. 
5. Polling booths: Only voters, and those with a valid pass from the Election Commission, will be allowed to enter polling booths. 
6. Observers: The Election Commission will appoint observers to whom any candidates may report problems regarding the conduct of the election. 
7. Party in power: The MCC incorporated certain restrictions in 1979, regulating the conduct of the party in power. Ministers must not combine official visits with election work or use official machinery for the same. The party must avoid advertising at the cost of the public exchequer or using official mass media for publicity on achievements to improve chances of victory in the elections. Ministers and other authorities must not announce any financial grants, or promise any construction of roads, provision of drinking water, etc. Other parties must be allowed to use public spaces and rest houses and these must not be monopolised by the party in power. 
8. Election manifestos: Added in 2013, these guidelines prohibit parties from making promises that exert an undue influence on voters, and suggest that manifestos also indicate the means to achieve promises.

Is the Model Code of Conduct legally binding?

•The MCC is NOTenforceable by law. 
However, certain provisions of the MCC may be enforced through invoking corresponding provisions in other statutes such as the Indian Penal Code, 1860, Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, and Representation of the People Act, 1951. 
The EChas argued against making the MCC legally binding;statingthat elections must be completed within a relatively short time (close to 45 days), and judicial proceedings typically take longer, therefore it is not feasible to make it enforceable by law. 
On the other hand, in 2013, theStanding Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice, recommended making the MCC legally binding. It recommended that the MCC be made a part of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.

Location: India


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